New Sacrament?


Could there ever be a new Sacrament instituted for the life of the Church?

During the 20th century, the Divine Mercy has become such a universal wellspring… it makes me wonder if God is calling for a new Sacrament?


What kind of Sacrament? Divine Mercy is directly related to confession, which is already a Sacrament.


There can be no new sacraments, as every Sacrament is connected to an event in the life of our LORD.

It’s all about HIM, not what later generations may think they need.





GEddie is right.

Plus, the Council of Trent sort of definitively dogmatized the fact that there are seven and only seven sacraments. :wink:


No. The Sacraments were given to us by Jesus Who is still their Author. No person can ever give us another. They were created by God and they are given to us all over again by Him even though the persons who bring them to us are mere humans, i.e. the priests or in the case of Baptism, any person following form and matter requirements in an emergency. They are the Way in which His Living Presence is maintained and remains among us until the end of time. He gave them to us in their completeness although the manner of delivering them to us through the centuries has been modified some, the Sacraments themselves are perfect and unchanging as is God. There is no reason or lack that would cause anyone to have to make an “eighth sacrament.” Those who have claimed such nonsense are in error and without giving any credence to their claims, I’ll refrain from saying any more least I pass on bad information without intending it.

So, don’t go looking for anything new in their regard.



It is possible for there to be another sacrament(s) to be revealed to us, (it took over a thousand years for us to officiate the seven that we have) but I don’t see what Divine Mercy has to do with it. It’s a devotional.

There are no “new sacraments” in the same way that there is no “new God”. The definition of a sacrament is God’s graces being at work upon a human person, and God does not change; He is already and always has been perfectly holy. Even if there were to be more than seven sacraments administered through the Church, it wouldn’t be a “new” sacrament other than in the ordinary sense. Matrimony became understood fully as a sacrament in the Middle Ages, but that isn’t to say that God’s graces were not truly at work in the union of marriage beforehand. It was through this same development that the breaking of the martial bond wasn’t seen as theologically impermissible (as per St Augustine), but rather, theologically impossible (as per St Aquinas).


Oh no, I wasn’t under the impression that humans ‘invented’ the Sacraments.

One of the effects of the Divine Mercy devotions and contemplation on the image of Divine Mercy, is a longing for a ‘living sign’ of the blood and water from the holy wound of Jesus. It makes me hope for something more for us as blind sinners. When Thomas literally touched Jesus wounds his unbelief was immediately cured. Perhaps it is not worthy of a new Sacrament, but I find in myself an unmet longing to touch the wounds myself for the unbelief of my belief.

It was a momentary fancy of a thought. I hope I didn’t offend anyone.


That’s interesting. So where does that leave the Orthodox, who I understand accept that there are more than “Seven Sacraments”? If the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox have true Sacraments, does this extend to the Orthodox’s other Mysteries which don’t have a Catholic analogue, or does the Catholic Church only recognize as truly Sacramental the 7 Orthodox Mysteries that correspond to those of the Catholics?

I ask because what you’ve stated above is the complete opposite of what a Catholic priest once told me. He stated that while Trent defines “Seven Sacraments”, the council never limited the number to “only seven”. He said that this is similar to how Trent defined the Biblical canon as well (and how this definition can be reconcilable with the Orthodox Canon). He stated that Trent defined what is in the Bible, but not what isn’t. So in essence Trent stated that you must recognize Baruch, or Tobit as canonical, but Enoch may or may not be. Similarly, you must recognize Ordination, Confession, Matrimony, etc. as true Sacraments, but the “blessing of water” may or may not be a true Sacrament.


It isn’t against Catholic teaching that there are more than the seven instituted sacraments. We actually know as a matter of fact that there are more than seven (St Ephrem, Doctor of the Church, for example, explains that the creation of the universe was a sacrament, but the Church of course cannot administer such a sacrament through its Holy Orders to people). This is the sacrament of Creation; God’s first gift administered to us. There are currently only seven sacraments that are administered by the Church, and perhaps always will be, but that doesn’t mean that there are only seven sacraments. It is also commonly held that each individual is itself a sacrament created by God for the rest of mankind; we do not exist for our own sake.

The idea of there being more than seven sacraments administered by Holy Orders is difficult to imagine, because we’ve had over 2000 years of development and the last to be officiated - Matrimony - was a very long time ago. Most anything else is either a sacrament in the extraordinary sense (that is, God’s grace administered outside of the visible means) or a sacramental, which is something that points us towards one of the visible sacraments for us to partake in.


Here is what the Council of Trent says in their seventh session:

CANON I. If any one shall say, that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord; or, that they are more, or less than seven, to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony; or even that any one of these seven is not truly and properly a sacrament; let him be anathema.

Buckley, T. A. (1851). The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (51). London: George Routledge and Co.

I guess I didn’t know that the Orthodox considered there to be more than seven sacraments. Someone wiser than I would have to figure out how to reconcile the two views. My first instinct is that it would involve parsing out what is a sacrament vs. what is a sacramental or even what is a separate sacrament vs. what is two (or more) orders of the same sacrament. But that’s just a guess considering I’m not familiar with Orthodox teaching on the matter.


The definition of “sacrament”, if I recall from grade school religion correctly, is “an outward sign instituted by Christ to give us grace.” (Emphasis mine.) If there was something that fit this definition that hasn’t already been discovered, then maybe, but it appears that the Council of Trent said this wouldn’t happen. Anyway, you would think that we would have discovered all of the sacraments by now, since Jesus Christ lived 2000 years ago. I think we’re in pretty good shape with the seven we have. :slight_smile:


The official Orthodox teaching is that there are at least seven sacraments, but the number has never been fixed in a formal manner. If you ask an Orthodox Christian to name the sacraments, they will name the same seven that you and I recognize.


Thanks. I was trying to think what “extra” sacrament they would celebrate and was coming up empty. :o


Hello TK.

Yes, it IS against Catholic teaching to say that there is more then 7 Sacraments. Comparisons made by various Fathers and Saints in the Church to the Sacraments of God’s Creative actions are that comparisons, nothing more. St. Ephraem wouldn’t insist that the Creation of the Universe was a Sacrament and it is done so as to draw attention to the holiness of God’s actions in creating the Universe. He said “It is good,” when He completed His works and by comparison, anything “good” in God’s sight to us should be considered Holy. It is misleading to use anything any Saint said so as to support a contradictory stance on any Church teaching. If there is any ambiguity, it lies with those who are hearing or reading what was said by them and striving to understand what was meant rather than the statements made by such persons.

If you think there are more than seven, then you would be saying Jesus didn’t complete His tasks when He was here and gave them to us. There will never be more than 7 because there aren’t more than 7.



In the early Church, as in Orthodoxy today, there was not such a strict, well defined distinction between “sacraments” and “sacramentals”. The “additional” Orthodox “sacraments” would be, to a Latin mind, properly sacramentals, rather than sacraments…but this distinction is meaningless to the Orthodox. Sacramentals draw their grace from the sacraments, and certainly the Church has and can institute new sacramentals if she deems it prudent. Sacramentals include: the consecration of virgins, the blessings of abbots and abbesses, the blessing of holy water, the consecration of churches, altars, and other holy objects, rosaries and other blessed objects, exorcisms, any kind of blessing, etc…


The idea that it would be saying “Jesus didn’t complete His tasks when He was here and gave them to us” feels shaky to me since “The Seven Sacraments” is something that developed in the era of high scholasticism, centuries after the time of the early Councils. I’ve also heard it stated from one of my Deacons, who is a fairly knowledgeable guy, that the closure of the sacraments at seven isn’t dogmatically absolute.

This has got me curious, so I’m going to submit the question to AAA.


That is a great idea!


In regard to my own fanciful wonderings, it was in direct relation to the meetings with Jesus between the Resurrection and the Ascension. First Mary Magdalene heard Jesus say her name and she believed. Then when He appeared to the Apostles minus Thomas, they *saw *His wounds and they believed. But then when Thomas met with Him, he needed to touch the wounds and only then did he believe.

It was that act of Thomas that I personally find unrepresented in a sacramental way. When I contemplate the actual Divine Mercy picture of Jesus, the outpouring of precious blood and water seems to be begging to be ‘captured’ for the faithful who struggle with needing to ‘touch to believe’. The age we live in is one where atheism mocks the idea of any sort of relationship with the Lord and it prevents people being receptive to the presence of Jesus with us.

So I wasn’t thinking that there may be an unfinished work on Jesus part… just that we have yet to fully know how to ‘touch’ His precious wounds so that we might believe.


All of the Sacraments allow us to touch Jesus, especially the Eucharist. When we celebrate the liturgy we are participating in the death of Christ on the cross, his sacrifice, but we are also celebrating his resurrection and all that entails (including encounters with the disciples). We encounter the risen Jesus in the most intimate way in the Eucharist. Nothing else can come close.

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